Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Being Nothingness

I've been feeling rather lackluster lately, and I'm sure it has a lot to do with it being February and all. I gather I'm not the only one who isn't feeling so sparkly. I'm trying to do things that make it better, like baking bread. I think baking bread doesn't just create the illusion of fulfillment, it actually fulfills. And with a loaf of bread this easy and this good, come on, you can't say you don't know how to bake. Do you know how to measure a few ingredients and toss them in a bowl and then wait and hour and a half to bake it for thirty minutes? Of course you do.

Don't you love that old CorningWare? I used to think it was dismal, back when it was ubiquitous. But now I see it and feel its weight, and I think, that's a nice piece of cookware.

Another good thing to do is to bake a nice stack of cookies with some weird chocolate chips.

You could start thinking about spring and the things that grow when all the snow is gone. You could get caught up looking at an onion thinking about the very same thing as you.

You could start thinking: if only I had some soil for you, I would put you right in a little pot. And you could stay with me and grow.

And you could read about Ann's adventures with winter sowing on A Chicken In Every Granny Cart and wonder when you could get that started. Maybe tomorrow? I'm going to use all the seeds I didn't get to last summer...

Some other things I did to cheer me on through the snowy day: made baked beans in the slow cooker and ate them with bread and butter, made a fire and tended it all day, called a friend, stared out the window at the snow with my little boy snuggled against me, and finished a great short story by T.C. Boyle, who I've always liked, and who made me think: that guy isn't afraid of getting better. My new mantra: don't be afraid to get better. It was sort of a sad, quiet story, which most of my favorite stories are, and there was a great line at the end: "She knows it will all be lost, everything we make, everything we love, everything we are." It's out of context, of course, but it felt particularly painful and fitting in the dead of winter when we're quick to forget how easily things grow again. Like a little onion sitting on a cold window sill.


  1. My peas are growing. Now they are
    reaching out with tendrils to hold
    on to the string that is strung.

  2. Julia, be the onion. I just love your posts. They always make me smile, probably even when you are trying not to. I have never met you but you shine right through my computer screen. Even when you aren't trying to shine. :p

  3. After reading this I feel like I'm sitting in a log cabin with you somewhere on the pioneer...

  4. Anonmamou- it's amazing how strong those tiny curls are.

    Annette- Your comment made my day. Thank you so much! Shucks, you're making me shine. I *am* the onion!

    Georgia-We'd be well fed, and never run out of jelly!

  5. It must be so serene where you are. The pictures are beautiful.

  6. Thanks, Christine. Serene is nice, unless you are in Paris!

  7. I would like to finish that entire stack of lovely cookies. :)

  8. Tracy- I wish you could have! Instead, I ate them all. I've got to stop making all these cookies. Because it's impossible not to eat them, all of them!

  9. oh, i can SO relate to the need to cook when feeling lackluster. i know its been a bad month when my kitchen is overflowing with baked goods and i can hardly get into my jeans.
    anyway your bread and cookies look great and i'm glad to read that you are loving winter again!

  10. Thanks, Talia! Yes, loving winter again. Right now the world is covered in white, and it's warm and quiet inside. The only problem? I just did the skinny jean test and my results were abysmal. Oh, boy.